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19

This is really more a logic/philosophy question than a Christianity one. And it is logically similar to this scenario: Twin brothers get separated from their mother and from each other at a young age. As adults they later reunite and discuss their mother, to find that their childhood memories are imperfect, and sometimes conflict. Does this mean they ...


17

It seems to be down to an ambiguous instruction issued by Pope Innocent III around 1200. The Catholic Encyclopedia has this [extract]: [In the eleventh century] the manner of making [the sign of the Cross] in the West seems to have been identical with that followed at present in the East, i.e. only three fingers were used, and the hand traveled from the ...


15

The best bet is probably to talk with the leader of the group you are considering going to. Many Bible studies welcome non-Christians. You don't have to be Christian to study the Bible and people are unlikely to get offended in most cases. Some Bible studies may be more uncomfortable for you than others depending on how they are run and what kind of ...


13

Lent Lent is a period of penance in preparation for Triduum (Maundy Thurs. through Easter Sun). The faithful are encouraged to increase their works of mercy and decrease their self-indulgence. It begins on Ash Wednesday, which is 40 days (minus Sundays) before the Triduum. Ash Wednesday So called because it invokes the ancient practice of covering ...


13

The Spirit of God is everything that will make eternal life worthwhile. My understanding is that the full glory of God will be revealed to everyone at the time of judgement. Hell is torture because it is complete and utter separation from God, nothing more, nothing less. This will be torture for unbelievers and anti-believers because they will first have ...


12

The Christian definition notion of hell itself already assumes in itself a belief in the Christian doctrines. As such, most atheists have exactly zero fear of hell, and it is considered merely an invention, typically either of fear or of control (depending on who you ask). As such, it isn't the atheists desire to exist in an afterlife without God - simply ...


12

As a Catholic, I capitalize everything remotely concerning Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit out of respect and will always continue to. But, curiously enough, the official writings of my church do not, which leads me to believe that being scrupulous about it is not the end of the world.


9

I should probably let a member of the LDS Church answer this, as I only attended the LDS Church for a few months. There was an LDS conference during that time, and I'm going to attempt to answer based on what I can find for official statements and my own memory of the event. From the LDS Website: What is general conference? General conference is a ...


9

The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning "Spring," and another word which also was the word for "March," the month in which the majority of Lent falls. Fr. Saunders writes: "Since the earliest times of the Church, there is evidence of some kind of Lenten preparation for Easter. For instance, St. Irenaeus (d. 203) wrote to Pope ...


9

Here's the Catholic Lenten Cliffnotes. I see I've been beaten to the punch at answering, but what the heck. Mardi Gras is some sort of French meaning Fat Tuesday. It's called that because the next day is Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday (today) is the beginning of Lent. It is a precept of the church that Catholics are supposed to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good ...


8

Letter case is a relatively modern innovation, so we can't go by the original languages. Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek were all written in what we would call uppercase. They also lacked other typographic conventions such the modern system of punctuation. (You can get an idea about what ancient writing looked like by reading this history of the ...


7

In Catholic Tradition and culture, vampires only exist in scary novels/movies, and garlic is only used for seasoning delicious meals. However, crosses, holy water, and various other holy objects and gestures can be ordained by the Church as sacramentals. Sacramentals are material objects, things or actions (sacramentalia) set apart or blessed by the Roman ...


7

General Conference is literally the oldest tradition of the LDS Church, as the church was formally organized at a General Conference meeting on April 6, 1830. Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants lays out the basic organizational details for the church established during that meeting. Of particular interest to this question are verses 61 and 62: 61 ...


6

Christianity is not, "just a belief system", nor is it "also a system for organizing and governing society". It is simply the way for imperfect people to get into an eternal relationship with a perfect God, not by our good works but by the gift of Jesus. John puts it better than I can: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and ...


6

If not, this would require that all 300k sects agree that they worship the same "God". Aaa, but that is just the rub: they do! Even the ones with pretty radically different descriptions of him agree that there is just one God out there. The suggestion that this is functional polytheism is ludicrous.


6

While A J Henderson's answer is excellent and I agree with it, I would like to add something. Many churches specifically run Bible Studies aimed at 'seekers' (which means those who are not Christians ... yet). Some of them are little more than a leader telling you what to think, while asking you trivial questions that can be answered by reading the passage ...


6

In 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 Paul says 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” Church membership is how we know who is and isn't a believer. The church, as a whole, is charged with the task of declaring who is and isn't a ...


5

Luke 16 is your answer here. The rich man who is sent to hell clearly says, "Don't let my brothers join me here!" Ergo, hell is clearly NOT a reward. 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the ...


5

Yes, I think it is. Though, with an emphasis on "necessarily". Well, beyond the core tenants, anyway. If you are a Christian but have never experienced God's love, then something is missing. I'm not talking about charismatic or pentecostal "gifts of the Spirit", I'm just talking about... feeling that God loves you. Miguel de Unamuno: "Those who believe ...


5

I understand that it is done out of some idea of respect, but personally, I think that for pronouns it is just bad grammar. Capitalizing titles and proper names for God and Christ is, however, correct application of the rules of English grammar. Note that the used of LORD in the bible in all capitals is altogether different; this is used in many English ...


5

Evangelizing as a church activity Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures Act 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. Paul spreads the Gospel to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles. Visiting the sick and ...


3

God does speak This is a very interesting question. Certainly God has spoken to people in the past in very specific ways. To mention a few... God told Moses to stretch out his staff over the Red Sea, and it parted. God told Moses to strike the rock, and water poured out God told the Israelites to go out to find the manna, and it was there (every day for ...


3

The answer to this would really depend on what tradition you come from. Some traditions teach that it is baptism in water that brings salvation. Thus, it could be argued that baptism, bringing salvation to an individual, would be the inception of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This, then, would, in fact, be a sort of protection. However, for ...


2

No In a polytheistic religion, each member worships a set of gods. In Christianity, each member worships a single god, and further, believes that there is only one god. The fact that there are different sects does not make it a polytheistic religion -- each sect claims as a point of doctrine that there is only one god, and hence, each sect is monotheistic. ...


2

It is only a "reward" in the linguistic sense that it's the just result for one who has obstinately turned away from God. It could also be seen as a "reward" in the sense that the one who goes there gets what he wants: himself and only himself for all of eternity. I don't have the book in front of me so this quote will be off the top of my head, but an ...


2

I'd like to add some comments from a Protestant who lived in New Orleans for 4 years. I like the idea of Lent as a time to reflect on what Christ's sacrifice means to us, and a way to draw closer to Him as we approach the celebration of His resurrection, and I have used this in church settings. Unfortunataly, for some it is merely an outward ritual that does ...


2

If you look at the Biblical account, baptism has always accompanied entry into the church. It is offered "for the forgiveness of your sins" (Ac 2:38 or to "wash your sins away." (Ac 22:16) It frequently precedes/accompanies the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and is never far behind. If committing your life to Jesus and being baptized puts you under God's ...


2

It sounds like you think you are going to fail at choosing a church. Like anything, if you think you are going to fail, most likely you are going to fail. A church is a family. With many problems and differences like any other family. What was the Church like in the 1st century? I don't see it any different than today. 1) Jews and Gentiles had their ...


1

There is a basis for sacramental items, but even those items can become idols. Below is part of the scripture that talks how items like handkerchiefs that were brought from Paul carried power of God to heal the sick. As in regards to power to ward of evil spirits there is no basis for that the bible. As seen in verse 15 that evil spirit was not even afraid ...



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